Living in Canada, we are no strangers to variety: from our four seasons, to our diverse landscapes. Part of what makes Canada such a rich and vibrant country are all the different cultures and backgrounds that make up our population. With over 250,000 immigrants per year settling in Canada, the Canadian workforce is changing, and now is the time for employers to embrace the benefits of working with people from other countries.
Newcomers to Canada face many challenges when settling in a new country and finding work. Many don’t have strong professional networks established, or find it hard to obtain Canadian experience. Employers may have their own reservations regarding language and various business cultures or lack understanding of how and why to attract and retain newcomers. Allies Canada has outlined four important reasons to employ newcomers:
- The Canadian-born workforce is shrinking and the demand for labour is growing.
- Skilled newcomers can help Canadian companies do business with the world.
- Skilled newcomers bring international expertise.
- Skilled newcomers can give Canadian businesses an “in” into expanding local ethnic markets.
As you can see, it is highly beneficial to have a diverse work population. Organizations who realize the importance of diversity have taken on various initiatives to attract talent. Here at Agilec, staff are offered two “diversity days” which may be taken any time to celebrate various holidays, or simply taken as a day off. Others, like St. Michaels Hospital in Toronto, have come up with a buddy system pairing up veteran employees with newcomers to Canada. While these may seem like small ways to embrace diversity, they truly go a long way.
Why do you think diversity is important in the workforce, and what kind of initiatives have you been a part of?
by Nicole Cesaroni, Guest Blogger for Agilec